Valley photographer a finalist in SuperMoon contest

It was a show in the sky on Sunday night, a SuperMoon and a lunar eclipse happened at the same time, the first time in 30 years.

It was dubbed the "Super Blood Moon" on social media, and it made for a spectacular subject for both professional and amateur photographers.

Now some of those images are getting special recognition from NASA, including one photo taken in Peoria. He took several photos Sunday night, and one was selected as a semi-finalist in a photo contest.

Josh Spradling has had a lifelong love for astronomy and has been taking photos as a hobby for about 15 years. All his friends were sure he'd take pictures of the SuperMoon, but Josh says, that almost didn't happen! Thankfully it did and now one of his blood moon photo's may end up featured on NASA's website.

Under the warm orange glow of Sunday's SuperMoon Josh, Spradling captured images of the moon, and entered one shot with an iconic saguaro in NASA's "Super Blood Moon Photo Contest".

"Normally I don't submit entries to any contest, I don't waste my time, but figured I'd give it a shot and last minute entry," said Josh Spradling.

His last minute decision paid off. From thousands of entries, NASA selected Josh's image as 1 of 6 finalists; 4 others from the US, and one from Indonesia. The Funny thing is that Josh almost skipped taking photos, all together!

"I was so exhausted, I was so tired, I almost just wanted to take a nap and not even go out and look at it," he said.

While out grabbing a pizza for his family, Josh finally succumbed to the beauty of the Super Moon. He pulled off the road near 83rd and Jomax and snapped away on his Cannon DSLR.

"I had a pizza in the car so I thought 5 minutes and I'll be on my way, and I ended up taking over an hour taking probably over 100 shots," said Spradling.

Cold pizza in hand, Josh returned to his hungry family. He said they weren't too happy about the pizza, but were thrilled to learn his image might end up on NASA's website.
"That's kind of why I'm doing these interviews, to apologize for the cold pizza, but other than that I think we're even now," said Spradling.

Josh's photo is one of six selected as semi-finalists in the contest. Voting in the contest ended at 9 p.m. Tuesday if his image is the winner it will be featured on NASA's website and social media sites.


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